Assemblymember David Chiu calling on the US Census Bureau to restore language access on the paper forms.

Today we joined with San Francisco Board of Supervisors, California State legislators, and other community leaders to call on the Census Bureau to restore non-English paper questionnaires to ensure fair and equitable access for LEP communities during 2020 Census. Just yesterday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution San Francisco has and will continue to lead, ensure local Census implementation addresses key challenges, and motivate participation in 2020.

You can watch a recording of today’s press conference below.

In attendance:
David Chiu, Assemblymember, 17th District
Sandra Lee Fewer, San Francisco Board of Supervisor, District 1
Aaron Peskin, San Francisco Board of Supervisor, District 3
Gordon Mar, San Francisco Board of Supervisor, District 4
Adrienne Pon, Executive Director, Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs
Hong Mei Pang, Director of Advocacy, Chinese for Affirmative Action
Jonathan Stein, Staff Attorney and Program Manager, Voting Rights, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus

Language access continues to pose a significant barrier for Limited English Proficient (LEP) communities to participate in the upcoming decennial census. For this upcoming Census, the Census Bureau made a decision to eliminate bi-lingual paper forms that would have been available to Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Russian speakers.

This jeopardizes equitable access to the Census and compounds existing risks of an undercount, including the digital divide and mistrust and fear of the federal government. A complete and accurate count in Census 2020 is necessary for fair political representation in California and San Francisco, and also determines federal appropriations to public benefits key to the well-being of marginalized communities.

CAA continues to lead statewide and local advocacy efforts to ensure equitable and equal access to the Census for all. Locally we have been working in concert with city departments and community-based organizations to ramp up community outreach and education to ensure all of our communities are counted.